Normally begins with a surface collection (if site is ploughed or disturbed) The spatial distribution of artifacts on the surface of a site is recorded with reference to a fixed point (datum) This produces accurate maps which can then be used to guide the excavation. When excavating, we record subsurface features and the location of artifacts in a similar fashion With reference to a grid system (based on cartesian coordinates: x and y axes. Uncover and remove layers (stratas) from youngest to oldest, simultaneously, across a wide area. Focused on a single, small portion of the site. You can employ this if you don"t have a lot of people, money or time. Stratigraphy: the analytical process by which we order layers and features chronologically; how sites are formed in the record. Sediments are deposited on top of pre-existing sediments.